December 02, 2021, 10:33 am IST

To commemorate the life of Shri Gopinath Munde, a renowed Indian politician from Maharashtra, who lost his life in an unfortunate road accident, a memorial was proposed in the tourist city of Aurangabad, Maharashtra.  Shri Gopinath Munde was born in a middle class family in Parali in 1949; his primary education was in a school where classes were conducted under a tree, since he grew into a grounded personality who served to the nation with his truthfulness and calm attire.
Likewise the memorial is designed as an interesting play of built and unbuilt spaces. A statue of the legendary leader is erected in the centre of the site affirming to his strong vision and acts as a focal point for the entire project.

Fact File

Name of Project, location: Smarak of Late Hon’ble Shri. Gopinath Munde at Aurangabad, Maharashtra

Architectural Firm: Creative Group LLP, Prof. Charanjit Shah, Ar. Gurpreet Shah, Ar. Pankaj Sehrawat

Client: CIDCO Ltd. 

Built up Area: 8055msq. Excluding basement (Total area – 15060msq)

Cost of the Project: 66 Crores

Conceptualizing on auspicious Hindu elements, the main auditorium building is planned on the east side of the statue and the form is derived from the shell structure of a rare jewel of great virtue, the “Shankha”. Shankha is also believed to grant longevity, fame and wealth proportional to its shine, whiteness and largeness. It is one of the main attributes of Vishnu in Hinduism. 

The curved structure lends fluidity to the form of the building, while structurally it gains strength throughout the resistance of the shell form and spreads the loads in multiple directions. The structure is not envisioned as a plain shell but actually with corrugation and an inclined profile that allows the surface to be constructed of flat sheets hence increasing its spanning capabilities.  The distortion of the shell structure prevents the surfaces from collapsing as they shift in orientation. The curved form of the building and the surrounding built form of the structure also enables uniform distribution of natural daylight.  The auditorium caters to 750 people and the structure is constructed out of steel frame with zinc cladding and bronze finish. 

The statue of Shri Gopinath Munde has also been proposed on a base which replicates the lotus – the most revered Hindu flower.  This overlooks the memorial space which is carved as a complex with green courtyards and stepped terraces. In honor of the five terms served by Shri Gopinath Munde in the Legislative Assembly from 1980-85 and 1990-09, the number of terraces has been restricted to five. Within the planning of the site, vehicular circulation has been kept to a minimum and on the periphery of the site. The main entry leads up to the public plaza with the main statue, with the auditorium on one side and the training centre, museums and restaurant on the other.

The public plaza has been designed to promote interaction within the visitors and also has a large amphitheater for various activities. 

The museum highlights the life and teachings of Shri Gopinath Munde with the ‘Hall of Memory’ having a feature wall displaying the photographs throughout the duration of his life.  The facility is also provided with a multipurpose hall, Training Centre, Library, Conference hall, Restaurant, VIP Suites and a Dormitory which overall increases the user engagement and the economical demand of this project. 

The memorial is a matrix of covered and open spaces which creates a feeling of openness and a connection with the nature. Rather than giving a continuous closed space for the built mass, the ancillary areas are connected and overlook the piazza podium in the centre.  The design plays attention to the maximum inclusion of landscaped green areas and water features with stepped terraces on different levels, which creates interest and also portrays dynamism of the structure. There is a hierarchy of courtyards, which becomes the activity ground for the visitors. The levels and scooped out courtyards act as interactive spaces which are opened up to the sky. 

An amalgamation of nature and built form with no space devoid of interaction with nature, Shri Gopinath Munde Smarak at Aurangabad is a gem added to the tourist capital of Maharashtra. With this design proposal the aim was to carry out the sustainable design approach that not only serves today’s need but also offers a great future aspect to the society. In order to tackle the scorching heat of Aurangabad, shell form and curvilinear walls were opted to execute the very concept. These help in avoiding dense heat absorption by increasing reflection. The intermediate slant roofs that encompass courtyards are green terraces acting as thermal insulator, a passive technique to sustain temperature difference. 

Overall the memorial is a walk of remembrance, initiating dialogues by complimenting social interactions through the spaces designed, the auditorium being a monumental structure invites the visitors to this journey. The museum informs about the happenings and achievements of Shri Gopinath Munde's life leaving an inspiration by the way he was dedicated to serve the nation.